Friday, November 30, 2007

Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England
(UPenn, December 2007)
William Sherman

William H. Sherman's Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England recovers a culture that took the phrase "mark my words" quite literally. Books from the first two centuries of printing are full of marginalia and other signs of engagement and use, such as customized bindings, traces of food and drink, penmanship exercises, and doodles. These marks offer a vast archive of information about the lives of books and their place in the lives of their readers.

Based on a survey of thousands of early printed books, Used Books describes what readers wrote in and around their books and what we can learn from these marks by using the tools of archaeologists as well as historians and literary critics. The chapters address the place of book-marking in schools and churches, the use of the "manicule" (hand-with-pointing-finger symbol), the role played by women in information management, the extraordinary commonplace book used for nearly sixty years by Renaissance England's greatest lawyer-statesman, and the attitudes toward annotated books among collectors and librarians from the Middle Ages to the present.

This wide-ranging, learned, and often surprising book will make the marks of Renaissance readers more visible and legible to scholars, collectors, and bibliophiles.

Details here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fellowships and Grants for Textual Scholars
Follow links for details

Newberry Library
Huntington Library
Folger Shakespeare Library
Bibliographical Society of America
Houghton Library, Harvard University
Harry Ransom Center
Beinecke Library, Yale University
Library Company of Philadelphia
"Making Publics" Fellowships
American Antiquarian Society
Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences
British Academy
Leverhulme Trust
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Société et la Culture
National Endowment for the Humanities
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies
American Printing History Association
McNeil Center for Early American Studies
Rare Books and MSS Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Printing Historical Society
Grolier Club Library


Monday, November 05, 2007

The Conference on Editorial Problems
at the University of Toronto

Click here for forthcoming events.

History and Background
The Conference on Editorial Problems (CEP) was inaugurated in 1965, and has been held annually since then at the University of Toronto. Its longevity is witness to a long tradition: critical editions of the works of numerous authors, in many languages and disciplines, have had a long association with Toronto, from the Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia and the notebooks of Coleridge to the correspondence of Zola and the collected works of Northrop Frye.

The Conference has benefited from the support of University College, the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, the School of Graduate Studies, as well as departments and centres across the University. Its affiliation with St Michael's College and Victoria College, with the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, allows the conference to draw on both the reach and promise enjoyed by the University's programs in Book and Media Studies and Book History and Print Culture, as well as the Collaborative Program in Editing Texts. These associations bespeak a wider commitment. The conference is a strong supporter of the professional training of graduate students in the humanities. It has provided important opportunities for students interested in textual scholarship and editing to participate as co-convenors and co-editors of individual programmes and volumes, to chair sessions, and to organize roundtable discussions.

Although its earliest programmes were devoted mainly to the canon of English, French, and Italian literature, the conference has expanded over the years to encompass a wide variety of topics. A representative sample would include: Editing Illustrated Books (1979), Editing Greek and Latin Texts (1987), Music Discourse from Classical to Early Modern Times (1990), The Politics of Editing Medieval Texts (1991), Editing Early and Historical Atlases (1993), Editing Women (1995), Editing Aboriginal Texts (1996), Computing the Edition (1997), Reconstructing Ancient Texts (2001), Editing Philosophers (2002), and Editing the Image (2003).

The meetings of the conference are usually held over the first weekend of November each year. Sessions take place at St Michael's College or at Victoria College in the University of Toronto.

Call for Papers
“Manuscripts and Miscellaneity, c. 1450-1720”
University of Cambridge, UK
3-4 July 2008

An international conference organized by Scriptorium: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Online. Speakers to include: Barbara Benedict, Julia Boffey, Victoria Burke, Margaret Connolly, Alexandra Gillespie, Earle Havens, Arthur Marotti, Steven May, Marcy North, Fred Schurink, John Thompson

Commonplace books, collections, miscellanies; collections of lyric verse, extracts from authors, sacred and profane, topographical, heraldic and legal information, estate andhousehold accounts and recipes. How do we describe or classify manuscripts with such miscellaneous contents? What importance did such objects, frequently used for several different purposes over the course of their lives, have in the manuscript culture of the late medieval and early modern periods? And in what ways can recent critical interests in the material history of the book and of the history of reading practices help us to understand them?

In addressing these questions, this conference will bring together literary scholars and cultural historians, codicologists and historians of the book. It will foster discussion of manuscript miscellanies written or compiled between the mid-fifteenth and early-eighteenth centuries: their contents, their material forms, how they were written and read, the ways in which their contents were arranged and disposed (within single books or across sequences of books), who owned them and how they used them, and the places that they might have had in the schoolroom or university, home or library.

It will also question the very concept of miscellaneity, in relation to other kinds of compilation and collection, and to other methods of book-classification - is miscellaneity a helpful critical, methodological or bibliographical term? And how do we view the miscellany differently in this age of digital facsimiles and hypertext?

We have limited space for further papers at the conference, and would like to invite proposals in the following or related areas, though by no means restricted to them:

- Concepts of miscellaneity (as collection, variety, multiplicity)

- The categorizing / classification of miscellaneous manuscripts (within libraries or criticism)

- Manuscript and printed miscellanies and their relation

- Commonplace books

- Poetic miscellanies

- Household miscellanies (and the miscellany in the home)

- Religious miscellanies

- The ownership and circulation of miscellanies

- Female writers and miscellanies

- Education (miscellanies in the school, university, educational theory)

- The materiality of the miscellaneous manuscript (layout or arrangement of books, their material structures and construction)

- Miscellanies as 'literature'

- Contemporary editing or printing of miscellanies

- The manuscript miscellany in the digital age

Please send proposals, or enquiries, to Dr Christopher Burlinson, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge ( by 31 January 2008.

We hope to be able to arrange accommodation in Cambridge for our speakers and attendees, but cannot guarantee the availability of accommodation to those who register for the conference after 31 January 2008. In order to register for the conference, please contact Dr Christopher Burlinson ( as soon as possible.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Interacting with Print group at McGill University, Montreal
Upcoming Workshops

"Cultural Practices of Intermediality, 1700-1830"
November 3, 2007
McGill, Arts 160

"Senses of Print: Interactions of Literary, Visual, and Musical Print Cultures"
November 7, 2007
McGill, Arts 160

For more info, see the Interacting with Print website